A timely untimely death

For as long as I’ve known my husband, he’s ridden his bike to work. He currently works so far from home it takes a half hour by car.

There is a town between the one we live in and the one he works in. To get there, he takes a long, straight road through a bunch of nothing.

At the beginning of the school year he came home with a bag of safety goodies from the bike shop — mostly lights, flashing and otherwise, that would afix to him and face in all directions.

This threw me into a panic. He could get hurt. People speed on that long strip of nothing. I couldn’t sleep that night.

The next morning, as always, he put a hot cup of coffee by my bed, kissed me goodbye and pedaled off. I didn’t want him to ride. I spent the day thinking about what I would do if I got that phone call.

That evening while I fixed dinner, Dr. Phil told me all about bicyclists who were killed by texting teen drivers. Quelle coincidence. Their wives and children pleaded for teens to stop texting and driving. Why weren’t they pleading for fathers to stop cycling?

The next day I learned that my friend’s husband had died. He was my husband’s age.

I went to the funeral and heard my friend, who has kids my kids’ ages, say that the day started like any other. He put a cup of coffee by the bed and kissed his wife goodbye before heading out on a bike ride.

What was going on? I felt like I was being sent a message.

Mid-ride he didn’t feel well. He set the bike down to rest and just died.

I couldn’t stop watching her. She was living everything I was afraid of. I wanted to help her.

After about a month this feeling of doom somehow eased. I guess it was nature’s way of keeping me sane. I wasn’t going to stop him riding to work.

In fact I didn’t want to stop him.

I just want to keep him.


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